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History of FlatCat™ Pickups Tags: flatcat history pickups

THE HISTORY OF FLATCAT™ GUITAR PICKUPS

From the owner of Wishbringer Music

    Around the end of 2014 I became aware of flat pickups when I noticed a brand called Thinkbuckers.   Looking further I found another brand called FlatPup, another by the Lace company, another brand by National.  I was already building guitars by hand and was fascinated by the concept of flat pickups, but could find very little information on how they were built. Even the cigar box guitar communities seemed very secretive (at the time) as to the process.

    Research revealed that flat pickups were nothing new; they'd been around for decades.  Lace and National produce off-the-shelf models, but they are very pricey. 

    Gaining little or no cooperation from the community in understanding flat pickup design, I went to the Net and did some research.  Very little was found there. So I started experimenting by the seat of my pants, beginning with only a slight inkling of how these were made, based on non-specific photos.  Existing pickups were wax potted and wrapped in cellophane packing tape-- a process that didn't appeal to me. I wanted something sturdier and more resistant to environmental changes.

    Factory-made flat pickups were pricey, starting at $145 each.  I wanted to build a pickup that was especially sturdy and had a wide-range of sound ability, but at a price affordable to the everyday guitar player.

    I started developing an unusual design, significantly different than prior designs I had seen.  Not a quick process.  Hundreds of hours were involved in basic R&D. Dozens of trial pickups. Detailed records were kept on all attempts-- gleaning the best features from each and discarding failures.  Eventually, the FlatCat pickup was born.

 

    By mid-2015 the R&D sessions had accomplished several things:

    * Considerable improvement over existing design concepts both in construction and resulting sound.  Testers stated it sounded better and was more versatile than other pickups.

    * FlatCats are fully potted and encased in solid PolyResin, which makes them very sturdy and more immune to elements and the environment.

    * Because of their design I was able to create and offer the first low-cost 6-string flat pickup on the market, intended for use on standard electric guitars.  Where factory-produced pickups started at $145 and up, FlatCats are priced at $50 to $55.   FlatCats extended beyond the realm of cigar box guitars. 

    *  Flatcats were significantly more powerful than existing CBG-type flat pickups.  Despite that gain in power, FlatCats remained wonderfully rich in tone, without distortion.  They work well with pedals, including distortion and overdrive models.

    *  FlatCat was released in  Cigar Box Guitar and Humbucker footprints.  Both models are aboout 1/4" thick and designed to be mounted to the surface of a guitar.

    FlatCats were released to the market and over the next several months earned solid 5-star reviews.   They were purchased by professional luthiers, cigar box guitar builders and customers  modding their own off-the-shelf guitars.  Repeat purchases by existing customers proved their effectiveness.  

    FlatCats are often specified as the "pickup of choice" by people who order custom guitars from Wishbringer, with those guitars receiving top reviews as well.  

    Today the FlatCat is available in a variety of colors.   Their sturdy composition assures their continued function over decades-- the wonderfully unique sound available to you for your special guitar projects.

--o--

 

FlatCat™ Surface-Mounted Guitar Pickups Tags: FlatCat pickup

 

You can find FlatCats here:  ETSY

 

 

 

 

 

FREE SHIPPING WITHIN MAINLAND U.S.

CUSTOMER REVIEWS:
"Man You are a genius. Just arrived and just installed. They are great! No noise no hum, great tone and volume. I don't know how you did it but they are better than most traditional pickups." - Andrea

"Love it. Great tone. Not one bit of crackle, hum, or feedback, even when turned up on high." - RP

A professional luthier stated: "This has such a balanced sound. It brings out a full bass end without losing the trebles, and has almost an acoustic sub-tone to it. It's a great pickup."

 

The FlatCat brings out all of the strings evenly, applying proper bass to the wound strings and volume to the trebles without sounding tinny in the process. The result is a harmonious balance between all strings.


NOTHING SPEAKS BETTER THAN VIDEOS!  See the end of this page for video listings.

 

WHAT ARE FLATCATS?
FlatCat's are surface-mounted, anti-noise guitar pickups. They are only 1/4" thick but have significantly more power than competitive pickups. They are coil-based "mag" pickups (just like other electric guitar pickups) but are designed in a very special way, developed over years of testing to maximize voice, tone and string balance. Easy-installation instructions and mounting is included. Each FlatCat is built totally by hand in the U.S.A., with free support for your questions.


WHY ARE FLATCATS SPECIAL?
Most pickups are largely buried inside the guitar body, with the primary sensory field a distance away from the strings and carried up through the body via small pins (requiring precise alignment).

The entire FlatCat pickup sits right under the strings; there are no pins.  The active field of the FlatCat covers the face of the pickup, accessing far more string area and producing a more accurate sound that can't be obtained from standard pickups. Place a FlatCat at the neck position and the resulting sound is rich and vibrant. Put it near the bridge for more of a "surf / lead guitar" sound. Install two or three FlatCats with a switch as with any standard pickup combo.

 

FLATCAT™ FEATURES:

* Surface-mount: installs quickly and easily without routing the body
* Only 1/4" thick, beautiful molten black finish
* Provides up to 3 times the power of other flat pickups
* The full pickup surface is receptive-- no need to worry about "pin alignment"
* Not microphonic; a true noiseless coil mag pickup
* Entire pickup sits directly under the strings, reproducing every nuance of sound
* Sound is clear and accurate, producing a unique rich, full "Delta Swamp" tone
* Potted in sturdy, solid polymer (instead of wax and tape)-- immune to weather changes
* Anti-hum and anti-noise
* Works well with all amps-- very versatile range
* Comes in attractive molten black color (other colors available)
* Completely and expertly hand-made in Missouri, U.S.A.
* Solid 5-star ratings from our customers

 

FlatCat works with standard electric guitars, cigar box guitars (CBGs), and other electric-string instruments (steel, nickel or chrome strings). The unique design produces especially fine tone and sound range beyond conventional pickups (see the diagram in the additional photos). FlatCats are available in CBG, 6/7-string, and two bass guitar models (standard 4 string electric and CBG bass).

 

SIZE SPECIFICATIONS
* 6 / 7 string and bass guitar: 3 3/4" x 1 7/8"... the size of an industry-standard humbucker with mounting ring
(The size is to cover mounting screw holes if they already exist in the guitar.)
* CBG (cigar box guitar) or CBG bass: 2" x 2"

(Note: Two CBG bass pickups can be used as a split pair for a 5-string bass guitar)

 

EFFECTIVE FIELD WIDTHS (distance between outer strings)
The effective pickup field on standard and bass versions is 3" wide-- plenty of room for most guitars. The effective field on the CBG version is 1.5"-- more than wide enough to handle CBGs with 3 to 4 strings.  The standard version can be installed on a CBG as well.

 

 

MORE CUSTOMER COMMENTS

 

"I LOVE THESE PICKUPS! They sound amazing!! I just tried the new full size pickups and they really crank it out!! THANKS SO MUCH."
-- Rocket Instruments

 

"I finally finished the guitar for which I bought your pickups and have had several players over to try it. Everyone agrees your pickups sound great. They lived up to every claim you make and then some."
-- R. Duke

"It has a very unique sound, to me it sounds somewhere between a P-90 and a Strat pickup, but more laid back than either. Very easy to install, and well built. Excellent customer service." - G.W.

"I got a set for a hollow body guitar I made, and I absolutely love these pickups! They have a full, rich sound that stays clear. The bridge pickup does twangy and jangly really well, and the neck has a great big warm sound to it. They're great to play clean, and will do fuzz and distortion equally well. These pickups look cool, are easy to install, and they sound GREAT! I'll be getting more of these in the future."
-- K. Jewett

Read our reviews on Etsy for additional 5-star comments from enthusiastic customers.

 

CUSTOMERS please send me your photos and YouTube video links of your FlatCat instruments in action. I love to see finished customer work-- and often post them on this website!

Best wishes from Wishbringer!


VIDEO DEMOS of the FLATCAT PICKUP:
Performer Brooks Williams performing in a duo at the huge Shrewsbury Folk Festival, the FlatCat prominent on his prized resonator guitar (start the video about 13 minutes):
https://youtu.be/fQzSzoR6ryw?t=826

FlatCat-based electric guitar made from an Altoids Mints tin!
https://youtu.be/4WJ_1bouiNU

Customer Callanta playing a Wishbringer-made CBG featuring a FlatCat pickup and an overdrive pedal.
https://youtu.be/RQf9-Px-Xsw

Brooks Williams again with his FlatCat-based cigar box guitar:
https://youtu.be/iSoIOyOOJBw

Dual FlatCat on a 15-voice hand-made cigar box guitar:
https://youtu.be/tWHjrdoqkcM

Quinton plays the Hazardous Voltage FlatCat CBG
https://youtu.be/7jXLitP3j0A

 

FlatCat is a Trademark of Wishbringer Traditional Music. All rights reserved.

 

 


SHIPPING NOTES:
Once a product leaves U.S. borders, it is out of the jurisdiction of U.S. shipping law. Under the Covid situation, Foreign quarantine laws and delay times differ for each country.  You will have a USPS tracking number, but that system often provides contradictory information even within U.S. borders. Your shipment will be insured, so if the item has not arrived within 60 days (14 days within the US) we can initiate replacement. Thank you for your consideration of these unusual times.

 

RETURN POLICY
For detailed return policies please see the CONTACT section on the Home page.  Each FlatCat is hand-tested prior to shipping to guarantee proper function and quality sound.  I'm confident you will be very satisfied with your purchase. 

 

--o--

 

 

 

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January 2022 (2)

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